International Students

At Cornell, we celebrate the great diversity and globalism of our university, its faculty, and students and we are excited that you are considering Cornell for your education. We invite you to explore what it is like learning at Cornell and living on our historic, beautiful campus in Ithaca, New York. 

Our applicants are an eclectic group, including international students who have moved among several countries or schools, U.S. citizens who have lived most of their lives abroad, or non-U.S. citizens completing school in the U.S. We read applications based on where you currently attend school, rather than by your citizenship status. Your application will be read with others from the school you attend and those from the same state (U.S.) or country.

Our international students follow the same application process as our first-year applicants or our transfer applicants. Cornell University admissions decisions for international applicants are need-aware. This means that they will be evaluated for admission with consideration of the ability of students or parents to pay educational costs. International applicants who indicate on their applications that they will not be applying for financial aid (and who are admitted) will not be eligible to apply for financial aid at any time as an undergraduate at Cornell. Applicants who anticipate the need for financial assistance at any point during their undergraduate course of study at Cornell must apply for aid when they apply for admission. To apply for the university’s need-based financial aid program, applicants must complete and submit the CSS Profile by the deadline.

International Financial Aid Deadlines
Early Decision Financial aid application materials due for international students November 1
Regular Decision Financial aid application materials due for international students January 2
Fall Transfer Financial aid application materials due for international students March 15

Credentialing services or other forms of paid professional assistance:
Cornell University expects all applicants to complete their application materials without the use of paid agents or credentialing services.

The use of such services violates University policy and may lead to the rejection of application materials, the revocation of an admissions offer, cancellation of admission, or involuntary withdrawal from the University.

Test Requirements

Cornell has suspended the SAT/ACT testing requirement for 2021 applicants.

TOEFL and IELTS Testing Requirements

International freshman and transfer applicants for whom English is not the first language must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score.

The recommended minimum scores are:
TOEFL - Score of 100 (Internet-based exam) and 600 (paper exam)
IELTS - Score of 7

TOEFL/IELTS testing policy exemptions:

The TOEFL and/or IELTS requirement for international applicants is waived for a score of at least 35 on the SAT Reading Test OR a score of 30 or higher on both the ACT Reading and English Sections.  If you have achieved these scores, there is no need to request a TOEFL waiver. The TOEFL requirement will automatically be waived when we receive your official SAT or ACT results.

We also waive TOEFL/IELTS for students who have studied their most recent four years in a high school, college, or university in the U.S. or other nations where English is an official language. If you meet this requirement, please request a TOEFL/IELTS waiver.  Please note that Cornell does NOT waive the TOEFL/IELTS test requirement for students who have attended an English-speaking school in a non-English speaking country.

Application Tips:

  • We want to review at least 3 years of secondary school records that list subjects you studied and marks received for each subject. State or national tests or other external exams taken should be included also (GCSE, Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education, ICSE, etc.). If there is a provincial, national or other board exam you will take on completing school (A-Levels, Higher Secondary Certificate, I.B., German Abitur, etc.) please ask the school official who completes your secondary school report to include predicted marks.
  • All transcripts and certificates must be official and must be translated into English. If you have attended more than one school, you should request a separate transcript from each school.
  • Do not send supporting documents until you have sent your application.
  • Please do not send materials in plastic covers or multiple envelopes and do not bind application materials together in any way. Lengthy bound documents cannot be included with applications. If you have completed a special project, submit a one-page summary and letter of recommendation from the teacher or another person who supervised the project. Do not send copies of individual awards or distinctions. These personal accomplishments should be summarized on one page.
  • Although some colleges and universities require a statement or certification of finances as part of the application, Cornell University does not require this information during the application process. Please do not send this information with your application. If you are admitted to Cornell University, we will then request this information from you.

Have questions? MeetEzra.